Building a world-class brand on the surgeon’s supply shelf
Is it really possible to make your product stand out on the hospital supply shelf? Do surgeons and nurses really care? All valid questions. After all, most medical professionals form an opinion based on clinical efficacy, proven methods, safety and ease of use. And, of course, procurement will have a strong say. At the same time, we’re seeing quite a few leading medtech manufacturers using the packaging in surprising new ways.
Let me give you an example. If you look at the market for intravascular stents, drug-coated balloons and other cardiological products, you can see a competitive battle going on. Low-cost, me-too competitors have gained the ear of purchasing departments, driving down prices, while established players strive to innovate and communicate the efficacy of next-generation products.
Quality packaging reflects a quality device
To stand out in this competitive environment, there is a lot of effort going into packaging and marketing communications material that dramatize the quality and clinically proven benefits of products. The reasoning is simple: If you’ve invested a small fortune in developing a next-generation product, the packaging should also reflect this.
“Product consistency from batch to batch is absolutely critical – no changes at all – and that applies to the entire product life cycle as well as an uninterrupted and guaranteed supply chain to multiple European production sites over many years. This is really a top priority for our customers.”
- Ian Huskinson Technical Service Manager, Iggesund Paperboard
Moving beyond safety and regulatory mandatories
Along these lines, if you look in the store rooms of cardiovascular cathether labs at hospitals, you will see some manufacturers who are using design techniques to move beyond regulatory mandatories of safety and efficacy to create and enhance brand value and user-friendliness. Bold graphics, differentiating naming and claims. In some cases, this involves creating more user-centric packaging that incorporates aspects of usage and instruction into the design itself.
The only point of contact
Finally, I believe there is another hidden factor that is driving this development. Faced with tight budgets, many medical technology companies have trimmed their salesforces, meaning that the physical packaging may be the ONLY point of contact with medical professionals.
To see how one leading manufacturer of drug-coated balloon catheters is using packaging to stand out, download our free Medtech Packaging Guide.